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Zoey, JD
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 16086
Experience:  Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
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My friend and i just received pink summonses to appear in court

Customer Question

My friend and i just received pink summonses to appear in court for sitting in the park talking on a bench, no alcohol, no arguing, no nothing.. will this be an all day session in the court in the city? are there fines involved?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

I am sorry for your situation. It sounds like this is a low-level charge. What are you being accused of, exactly? It must state something on the summons - anything? Perhaps some code and/or numbers you provide?

This is not an answer, but an Information Request. I need this information to answer your question. Please reply, so I can answer your question. Thank you in advance.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Disobey park regulations violation of (sec 1.04)
Expert:  Ely replied 1 year ago.
Kim,

I am asking a New York based expert to take over - please hold on a moment and no need to reply...
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Hello Jacustomer,

Usually this is given out for sitting in the park after closing hours. What subsection of 1-04 are they charging?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the officer did not list a subsection sadly enough, and i'll be glad to rate your work, thank you !
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Hi,

Being in the park after hours is a misdemeanor, even if you are sitting on a park bench and doing nothing wrong.

If you look at Section 1-04 of the NYC park regulations, you can see that it's pretty much a catchall statute. If they want to find something to hook you on, they likely can.

These offenses can be handled one of two ways -- either by an administrative hearing with the Environmental Control Board, a civil proceeding -- or as a misdemeanor in Criminal Court. The Desk Appearance Ticket will tell you where you have to appear.

If prosecuted criminally, all but one subsection is a class B misdmeanor. Those have a maximum penalty of 90 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Section 1-04(b)(1)(i) is a more serious offense and involves defacing or destroying park property, which it would seem you were not doing. Just for the record, however, that would ba an A misdemeanor which would have a maximum penalty of up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $15K.

Now that I may have scared you to death, what is virtually certain to happen when you show up for your court date is that you will be offered a criminal violation such as a trespass or a disorderly conduct, and, if you don't want to fight the charges and wish to dispose of it on the same day, you could plead guilty to the violation

A violation is like the criminal court equivalent of a traffic ticket, and is something less than a crime. You'd end up with a small fine or some community service and the record of the violation would seal themselves in a year so that you could say accurately whenever it was necessary that you have never been convicted of a crime and/or have no criminal record. (Though you might have to disclose it for certain purposes to government agencies, if relevant).

Strictly speaking, unless you want to risk the 90 days and go to trial on the misdemeanor, you can get by here without a lawyer. If you want to dispose of it you could go in, plead not guilty at your arraignment and then wait for the DA's offer and accept the violation.

After the DA's Offer, you can also just ask the judge if you can have an ACD (an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal, which is a conditional dismissal). Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, the judge just may give it to you. But if not, the violation shouldn't really hurt you too badly.

You would likely have a better chance at an ACD or even an outright dismissal if you show up with a lawyer.
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 16086
Experience: Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
Zoey, JD and 16 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank YOU so much Ms. Fran
Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
My pleasure. Thank YOU and good luck!
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

Hi Ms. Fran, Can you go to the court before the date listed on the pink summons, if i am reading it correctly it is set for Aug 12th.

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
Sometimes you can.

With ticket like that it can take weeks for the clerk to get the information and file the case with the court. Until the case is filed you can't change the date. Once the court has the case, you should be able to talk to the clerk and advance it.
Zoey, JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 16086
Experience: Active member of the NYS bar since 1989
Zoey, JD and 16 other Legal Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.

i guess basically i would like to know what my chances are solo as opposed to with a Lawyer representing me, I really want to get this over with and for some reason it really is weighing on my mind, either way i planned on pleading guilty and i am trying to get the best possible scenario to wrap my mind around this situation

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 1 year ago.
I already answered this above. Go in and plead not guilty. Ask for an ACD. If you can't get it, they will offer you a violation -- likely a trespass. You can plead guilty to that and pay a fine. It's not a crime though it is a criminal conviction. It will be sealed after a year and nobody will be able find it.

If you plead guilty to the misdemenor the misdemeanor will remain on your record forever. You don't want to plead guilty to a misdemeanor just to get it out of the way. It will be among the worst mistakes you will ever make.

The only way you will need a lawyer is 1) if you want to try the case; 2) if for some reason the DA won't come below a misdemeanor. These are both very unlikely.

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